In the 16th year offering a state tournament opportunity for Texas schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®), a record 3,100 students from 148 schools will meet March 22-23 at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton. Students will have a chance to contend for awards and qualify for the NASP® National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
National Archery in the Schools competitions are unique in that teams are mixed gender by rule. Females comprise 45 percent of participants registered this year in both the state qualifying tournament and the state tournament.
“The National Archery in the Schools Program fits all students regardless of gender or athletic or academic ability,” said Burnie Kessner, Archery Coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). “Students come to compete from throughout the state, from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle to inner-city Houston and they all use the same equipment. They also use school-owned bows with no sights and no mechanical accessories so it’s all about their abilities, not the gear.”
Participating schools also vary greatly in size, from small to large, from public to private. The state tournament will be attended by students from small rural schools, large urban campuses and even homeschooled students.
A total of $30,000 in college scholarships will be awarded at the tournament. The Texas-NASP state tournament has awarded over $180,000 to the top high school student archers since the inaugural state tournament in 2006.
For those competing, college scholarships will go to the top five male and top five female high school archers, along with trophies, medals, and new bows and arrows in all categories. First place male and female archers in each division receive Genesis bows, and the high scoring male and female archer will receive a limited-edition Genesis bow. Door prize drawings will take place throughout the days.
Students from schools that teach TX-NASP archery as part of the in-school curriculum and shoot a qualifying score in the state qualifying tournament are qualified to compete in annual March tournament. The qualifying tournament was held in January, when more than 3,250 students from 170 Texas schools participated for a chance to move on to state.
First place teams in each division are automatically qualified to attend the national tournament. Additional teams may attend with qualifying team scores, and 1st-10th place male and female individual winners in each division qualify to attend.
NASP® is a non-profit foundation able to operate only by support from a variety of generous donors including medal-level sponsors; Mathews Archery, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Morrell Targets, The Block and Rinehart Targets.
Toyota and the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation are the primary sponsors of TX-NASP and the program is part of Texas’ hunter and bowhunter education efforts.
Learn more about the Texas-National Archery In The Schools program on the TPWD archery website.